Last week Accenture (NYSE: ACN) opened its first NanoLab in Ruta-N in Medellín. The NanoLab will immerse local Accenture customers in the latest emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, extended reality, quantum computing, robotics, cybersecurity, blockchain, among others, to help them understand how these innovations influence their future business operations.
As part of a broader global network, the new Medellín NanoLab offer will be nurtured by the extensive research and development activities carried out by Accenture Labs worldwide, providing users in Medellín with access to the latest innovations already implemented elsewhere. The NanoLab has the additional support of Medellin’s government through the flagship municipal business incubator Ruta-N, and Colombia’s government via the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Technology’s iNNpulsa technology initiative.
Accenture says that this is not a deviation from the company’s traditional focus on large companies, but rather a way to develop an ecosystem and collaboration with nimble small providers that can add value in niche ways to Accenture clients.
“It’s not a change, we are going to continue to focus on the largest companies. This is not so much a marketing effort to gain clients but to establish long term relationships. Our global client focus, more than 80% is on companies that have been in business over 10 years. In Colombia most of our clients have been with us for over 20 years. So no we haven’t changed our strategy. We remain focused on long term client relationships,” said Accenture Colombia President Marco Ribas (above) in a conversation with Finance Colombia.
“What has changed in the last 10 years is we have added to that a focus on open innovation. In the past we did most of our business in-house. The change is that now we want to connect to the ecosystem, use the strengths out in the environment to serve our clients more quickly, more creatively, and often more economically. So we want to move forward in collaboration with the technology ecosystem. More than that, Accenture has acquired more than 70 companies in the past 3 years. This allows us to me much more flexible when it comes to innovation. This is a great opportunity for small businesses, not only startups.”